Things That Matter

A Wildlife Sanctuary Is Using The Eye Closures From Discarded Bras To Help Save Sea Turtles

The surf, the sand, and the sun all make the beach to be the perfect habitat for summer fun. Yet, it isn’t just people who hit the beach at this time of year. When the weather gets warmer, turtles make their way onto beaches around the world to lay their eggs. It’s a dangerous yet necessary journey for these endangered animals. In coming to land, turtles are often manhandled and injured by cars, other wild animals and unnecessary human interference. 

This can leave them with potentially life-threatening damage to their protective shells.  

However, one animal shelter has discovered a brilliant way to rehabilitate these turtles and you can help them with this cause.

Facebook / Wildthunder Wildlife & Animal Rehabilitation & Sanctuary

Located in Iowa, the Wildthunder Wildlife & Animal Rehabilitation & Sanctuary is one of many shelters that use wire and eye and hook clasps to repair these busted up little guys. At the end of June 2019, a post about this innovation was shared by the sanctuary’s Facebook page. The post was then boosted by the Carolina Waterfowl Rescue and soon went viral; gaining tens of thousands of likes and shares. 

What the Wildthunder Sanctuary uses are the kind of clasps you find on bras, some swimwear, and certain lingerie. It may seem like a strange tool but it’s extremely effective. The rescuers gently glue the shells back together and then use the clasp method to make sure the shell stays put. 

“We just kind of weave wire through the eyelets, and as time goes on you can make them tighter,” Keenan Freitas, one of the staff rehabilitators at the Carolina Waterfowl Rescue, explained to TODAY. “It’s pretty simple, it’s effective, and it works the best out of anything we’ve used.” 

The response was immediate and the Wildthunder Sanctuary has been inundated with donations of bras. 

Facebook / Wildthunder Wildlife & Animal Rehabilitation & Sanctuary

As appreciated as the donations are, receiving whole bras kind of provides extra work for the rescuers. If you would like to donate your discarded clasps, please remove them from the bra BEFORE sending them to Wildthunder Sanctuary. If your bras are still wearable, sanctuaries ask that you donate them to a local women’s shelter instead. Donations of new clasps are also greatly appreciated and can be bought in bulk. 

As the Carolina Waterfowl Rescue pointed out, they have more needs than just bra clasps.

They have set up an Amazon Wish List full of items that will assist in their further rescue of turtles, birds, and other local wildlife in need. You can also make a direct donation to the cause here. If you live in the area, consider volunteering as help is always needed.

The wildlife rescuers caution that if you find an injured animal ⁠— turtle or not ⁠— your first move should always be to contact a shelter or your local wildlife rescue. If you need to remove a turtle from the place you find it, be sure to write down the exact location. Turtles spend their whole lives in one territory and this protected species needs to be returned back to its habitat to continue its happy Tortuga life. 

In response to the shared pics of rehabilitated turtles, Twitter and Facebook let out a collective “Awww.”

Twitter / @TallNose

While most comments ranged around praising the good work of these organizations, this Twitter user had a much cuter take of the whole situation. Sally Scott drew this adorable interpretation of a happy turtle in their brand new donated bra. It probably isn’t what the sanctuaries have in mind when they’re thinking about turtle support, but this is a look we can totally get behind.    

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How Latino Organizers in Arizona Helped Flip the State From Red to Blue

Entertainment

How Latino Organizers in Arizona Helped Flip the State From Red to Blue

Photo by Ted Soqui/Corbis via Getty Images

When Arizona was officially called for Joe Biden this year, a number of think pieces appeared on the internet that assigned the responsibility of Biden’s win to white Republicans. Headlines ran calling the victory “John McCain’s Revenge”–a reference to the late Arizona senator who had a contentious relationship with Donald Trump. Pundits hypothesized that white Republican voters cast their vote for Biden to spite Donald Trump, who had previously insulted the beloved Arizona Senator’s military record.

Soon after this narrative began to trend, Latinos quickly took to social media to set the record straight. “Hey @CNN,” wrote Julio Ricardo Varela on Twitter. “@CindyMcCain is not the only reason that Biden won Arizona. It wasn’t just that. Can you at least discuss the overwhelming Latino support and the organizing history of young Latinos in the time of SB1070?”

In the noise of election pontificating, the media largely ignored the efforts of Latino grassroots organizers. The efforts that ultimately helped flip Arizona. It is not a coincidence that Latinos now constitute the base of the Democratic party in Arizona.

It was no coincidence that so many Latinos mobilized this year. In fact, the event was a deliberate and organized process spearheaded by activist groups like the MiAZ coalition. The MiAZ coalition is a five activist groups that organized a massive field campaign targeting Latino voters. Altogether, Mi AZ reports that they made nearly 8 million calls and knocked on over 1.15 million doors.

Mi AZ reports Latino voter turnout in Arizona was at an all-time high of 50% this year, up from the record of 44% in 2016. The organization also reported to local news website AZ Central that according to their data analysis, “nearly 73% of Latino voters in key Latino-majority precincts in Arizona chose President-elect Joe Biden” over President Trump.

In an in-depth and touching Twitter thread, Arizona-based educator and organizer Reyna Montoya wrote a briefer on what changed Arizona from blue to red “for folks who may be wondering what is going on.”

In the thread, Montoya described her first-hand account of the trauma that Latinos in Arizona faced through the last few decades. A collective trauma that ended up mobilizing the Latino community for Biden.

Montoya described Arizona’s “English Only” law that passed in 2000. She then described Prop 300 in 2006, a measure that forbid students from receiving state financial aid for college if they couldn’t prove they were legal residents of Arizona. The final event was what most personally affected her: the passage of SB1070, a law that required all immigrants over the age of 18 to carry immigration documentation with them at all times.

“This was personal,” Montoya wrote on Twitter. “I remember my mom being scared. I remember being extreme cautions about driving anywhere.”

It was Arizona’s anti-Latino sentiment and, consequently, the legislation the state government passed to curb the rights of Latinos in the state that ended up backfiring. Instead of suppressing a community, the anti-Latino legislation ended up lighting a fire under many young Latinos, prompting them to organize. To fight back.

“In 2011, we decided to organize, build community and focus on rebuilding Arizona.,” Montoya wrote so brilliantly on Twitter. “Since 2011 until now, we have been educating others on immigration.”

“We have decided to no longer remain in the shadows,” she said. “We decided to let our voices be heard.”

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‘Planeta G’ Is A YouTube Series Dedicated To Highlighting Latino Environmental Activists

Things That Matter

‘Planeta G’ Is A YouTube Series Dedicated To Highlighting Latino Environmental Activists

Greenpeace has been fighting to save the planet and the environment since 1971. The Canadian organization has been there to fight for the planet every step of the way and it has fostered new leaders. Planeta G is the latest project out of Greenpeace and it is highlighting Latinos who are in the fight to save the planet and reverse climate change.

Planeta G is here to make sure that Latino environmental activists get the recognition that they deserve.

The bi-weekly web series is centered around exploring the intersectionality between environmental activism and the Latino identity. According to a recent study by Yale, 70 percent of Latinos are concerned about the environment. Latinos are also among the communities more disproportionately impacted by climate change.

According to an interview with Grist, Valentina Stackl and Crystal Mojica started “Planeta G” in order to highlight more Latino voices. Communities of color face several instances of environmental injustice in their communities. This includes lack of access to affordable healthcare, education, and housing.

It is brought to you by two co-hosts: Crystal Mojica.

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Look at all those chickens (jk they’re chinstrap penguins).

A post shared by Crystal Mojica Tous (@crystalmojica) on

Mojica is a senior communications specialist for Greenpeace USA and, according to the website, has spent a lot of her career in the environmental space. Mojica, who was raised in Colombia as a child, has volunteered for the Peace Corps and worked to advance reproductive rights for all women.

And Valentina Stackl.

Stackl was born in Europe after her mother, a Jewish-Chilean journalist, fled the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile. After moving to the U.S. at 16, Stackl got involved in international environmental justice starting with working with farmworkers.

The co-hosts are also using their platform to remind people to vote and the importance of using their voice.

The next election is drawing near and there are so many reasons for Latinos to vote. They have to make their voices heard and there are several issues that deeply impact the community.

“Latinx people are especially becoming more empowered than ever before to speak out. But we’ve done it before,” Stackl told Grist. “Historically, we think back to Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez and the labor movement. Sometimes we forget that. We care. The experiences of the people that we’ve spoken to on the show reflect that.”

The co-hosts are delivering more than interviews to combat climate change.

It is known that the vegan diet is more sustainable and better for the environment. Being vegan means you are helping to cut down on greenhouse gases from farming. There is also the benefit of not contributing to deforestation for farmland due to the demand of meat in the world.

The vegan versions of Latino foods is still in line with the web series’ mission to challenge dispel myths about Latinos. Planeta G is showing how you can make some delicious versions of Latino food without using all of the animal products. They even promise to fool your mom.

READ: Environmental Advocates Are Offering Tips On How People In Mexico City Can Shop With The New Plastic Bag Ban

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